So, it’s after spring break, that means you should be able to set the cruise control to smooth sailing for the rest of the year, right? Ha, good joke! Every single teacher has assigned you a project (or two), you’re having tests every other week, AP testing starts next Monday, and Prom is looming around the corner. Yikes! How are you supposed to handle all of that stress without having a nervous break-down? Easier said than done, right? Unfortunately, there is no “get-out-of-the-end-of-school-turbulance-free” card, so you’re going to have to put in some work. Good news is, if you use some (or all, your call) of these tips, the end of the year crunch should be at least a teensy-bit easier.
1) For starters, PRIORITIZE! Make a list of all of the things you need to get done: both long-term and short-term, and only things that NEED to be done by deadlines. Don’t do anything long-term before you get the short-term stuff done, that way, you won’t ever fall behind!
2) As hard as it is, unplug yourself! If you’re on the computer, don’t log into Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Keep your phone off until you’re done with your homework. You’ll find yourself focusing better on your studies, and I promise you, you’ll get done a whole lot quicker when you’re not stopping every 5 seconds to send another text message.
3) Eat healthy, and don’t neglect your exercise! When you’re busy, it’s really easy to just say “Oh, I’ll get back to the gym in the summer” and pull out a bag of chips to munch on at 1 a.m. when you’re studying. Don’t give into the temptation! If you’re not healthy, you’ll feel crummy, and everyone knows how hard it is to get things done when you’re feeling crummy.
4) Sleep! Make sure that you get enough sleep. No one gives their best attention to passing a test if they’re nodding off during it. If you have to stop studying to go to bed, do so. If you have to get up early in the morning because that’s when you’re most awake and best focused, do so. I’ll tell you a little secret: staying up really late cramming and trying to remember all of that information doesn’t actually work!
5) Realize what is out of your control. There are just factors in life that you can’t do anything about, and you just have to accept that. For example, you can’t do anything about the fact that there are 24 hours in a day, and you need to spend at least a few of them sleeping. Letting the uncontrollable add stress is a recipe for disaster.
6) Study in sessions! Instead of sitting and studying for two hours straight, do segments of 30-minutes. You’ll retain a lot more of the information, you won’t feel as tired, and you’ll stay much more focused. During your breaks is when you can plug back into Facebook and Twitter, but remember to shut them back off again when you get back to studying!
7) Focus on one thing at a time. This is where Prom comes in. Don’t be stressing about Prom when you’re trying to study for a test. I promise you that if you get things done in a chronological order and timely fashion as mentioned in tip #1 while focusing on one thing at a time, your energy will be better directed, and you’ll already feel less stressed. After you get your schoolwork done, you can worry about Prom. And make your life easier by making appointments as far in advance as you can so that they’re on the calendar for later- then you have nothing to worry about!
Working these skills into your daily routine will take a little while to get used to, but eventually, it will become second nature. You’ll start to find yourself more relaxed and with extra time to spare. Mission accomplished!